Training is the Key to Jumpstarting Sluggish IT Job Growth in 2015

By Chelsea Babin

Although the IT industry continues to see a positive pattern of IT employment growth, that progress has become sluggish compared to last year’s. IT jobs only grew .3% sequentially in May putting IT employment at a growth rate of 4.8% since May of 2014. While this certainly isn’t bad news, it’s clear that the booming growth has slowed down somewhat.

This isn’t for lack of employer demand according to Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance. Roberts observes that, “while demand for IT talent remains strong, an inadequate supply of IT professionals in high-demand skillsets are restricting the rate of growth.” With this information in mind, it’s easy to see why savvy employers looking for top technical talent are scrambling to implement training programs.

Training is an essential aspect of the psychological contract between employer and employee. When an employer takes on a new employee they’re promising to provide opportunities for learning and skill growth in exchange for the value each employee creates. Without training the only value an employee is receiving for their value produced is monetary, which holds significantly less intrinsic motivational power. Without the promise of training and new skill development employees are more likely to leave quickly and find employment elsewhere.

In order to limit the turnover rate and increase employee satisfaction, technical employers everywhere are changing their approach to the training they offer. Online and video training seminars are becoming increasingly popular because they can be watched anywhere, from any device, and make the training process easier for on-the-go technical professionals. Additionally, the industry is shifting to focus on Micro-learning. Pat Galgan, executive editor of the Association for Talent Development, says that Micro-learning offers, “more self-determination and customization.” This allows each technical professional to brush up on the smaller aspects of technologies they already know to further enhance the skills they use in every day development.

Because so many training opportunities are offered online, the cost of training technical professionals has reduced significantly, yet many IT employers are still reluctant to implement ongoing training initiatives. However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that a lack of IT training opportunities on the job is only leading to a further gap in available technical talent. If employers don’t fix this soon they’ll be left with even slower growth, an IT team that doesn’t have up-to-date-skills, and a high turnover rate.